Post # 1
For our reception (no one but the parents are invited to the ceremony), we’re having a 3-hour evening yacht cruise around SF bay with an open bar and hors d’oeuvres – no sit-down meal. We think hors d’oeuvres are a better fit for our venue, plus we both go to a lot of banquets and don’t want one for our wedding. We’ll have a stationary cheese/fruit/etc display and a LOT of passed hors d’oeurves. In the invitation itself we’ll say something like “Join us for drinks, dancing & hors d’oeuvres” but I’d like to include a little more information on our website… like an explanation? We have a handful of out-of-town guests and, although we are 100% sure this is what we want to do, I sort of feel like I need to explain myself.
For those of you who are also having an hors d’oeuvres reception, how are you communicating it to your guests? What are you calling it? I’ve heard some people refer to it as a “tapas reception” but (maybe it’s since I’m from the bay area?) to me tapas specifically refers to Spanish cuisine.
Post # 3
@swarlesk: Thats what we are doing minus the yacht! I put on my invite that we were having a “Cocktail Reception”
Post # 4
“Light reception” maybe?
We had one and mentioned it similarly on our invites and then on our website I believe we said something about the casual atmosphere and then hors d’oeuvres and dessert reception. <– We had lots of desserts. No one was hungry and we had some left over, so I think it went fine. We also had a more casual reception with no DJ/dancing, no alcohol, and it was in the middle of the afternoon.
Post # 5
We had a similar type of party. We just called it a cocktail reception. We also ensured that it started late enough (8pm) that it wouldn’t be over the dinner hour.
I like the way that you have described it. To be honest, we got more questions about what to wear then about the food. lol
Post # 6
I’d also just call it a Cocktail Reception (though your wording is fine, too). I don’t think there’s anything left to explain – either way, it will be clear to guests that they’re in for drinks and hors d’ oeuvres, and no sit-down dinner.
I think your wedding sounds like fun.
Post # 7
Call it a cocktail reception and don’t hold it during a normal mealtime – either in the afternoon ending before dinner or no early than 7:30/8:00 PM.
Post # 8
I agree with the PPs. We did the same thing. We held the wedding at 7:00pm, then cocktail reception at 7:30. It was perfect. The non meal time is the biggest clue. If you have something at 5:00 people will expect a full meal.
Post # 9
We just said “reception to follow.” The wedding was at 1:30. We purposely put it at a time of day when people wouldn’t expect a full sit-down meal.
Post # 10
I’m having my reception begin at 7 PM, and it’s an hors d’ouvres meal, and I made no mention of it on the invite. They’re heavy hors d’ouvres – pizza, meatballs, gnocchi, etc – so no one will be hungry.
Post # 11
@AmeliaBedelia: Hey, I’m copying your wedding! Well, except we have dancing, courtesy of a computer or ipod or something else TBD.
Here’s my reception card:
Post # 12
‘Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony”
Post # 13
We’re going to a wedding that said ceremony followed by “a light dinner and dancing.” I assume its hor d’oueuvres
Post # 14
@nyscpa2be: 🙂 Cool. We were going to have dancing courtesy of the iPod and just scrapped it closer to the date when I didn’t feel like putting together a playlist or adding the time to the venue. haha. Lazy bride.